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Sat Aug 2, 2014, 07:31 AM

 

Building a progressive alternative to ALEC

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-building-a-progressive-alternative-to-alec/2014/07/28/36ee41a6-1697-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

ALEC remains the ubiquitous conservative puppet-master; its fingerprints and that of its most well-known supporters (the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, AT&T, etc.) can be found all over right-wing legislation that has made its way through the state and local legislative process. To understand the magnitude of its influence, consider that of the more than 100 bills introduced between 2011 and 2013 to repeal or weaken minimum wage laws, 67 of them related back to ALEC. And in 2009, 115 of ALEC’s 826 model bills were enacted into law.

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Recently, the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange and the Progressive States Network announced a merger to build an organization that will be focused on moving a progressive policy agenda in the states. While the goals of the new undertaking may resemble those of ALEC, their methods are vastly different. They will operate transparently, use no lobbyists, and make their model legislation and resources available to everyone; their database already showcases 1,800 examples of progressive legislation. And they will engage with people, not corporations.

The timing for this endeavor could not be better. As Nick Rathod, who is charged with building the new organization as its executive director, puts it, “Progressives need to look to the states to move [their] agenda because Washington is effectively broken. For example, in the 2012 election cycle, progressives believed we had ‘won’ by maintaining the U.S. Senate and the White House. But 18 months later, we have no hope of immigration reform, background checks for gun purchases or even addressing climate change in a comprehensive way.”

While Congress has dithered on heeding President Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage, 10 states and the District of Columbia have already passed their own increases this year. With Washington at a standstill, state and local legislatures are becoming the laboratories of progressive expansion.

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Reply Building a progressive alternative to ALEC (Original post)
Scuba Aug 2014 OP
djean111 Aug 2014 #1
merrily Aug 2014 #2

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 08:09 AM

1. I was just thinking that it is not a wonderment that so much money is spent in order to get

 

legislation for bad and selfish and arrogant reasons. And how sad it is that money will need to be spent in order to get legislation for what I see as the right things to do.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 08:12 AM

2. DUers have reminded me that I have a city and state government, too.

And I appreciate that.
a
Not only do we not have to "make a federal case out of it" for everything, but we are a lot likelier to be heard and have impact at local and state levels, especially if we band together with like-minded neighbors.

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